Comments Appreciated on Magazine Based on XML/XSL

Didier PH Martin martind at
Mon Apr 12 22:49:11 BST 1999

Hi Mark,

I have implemented a very crude version of this. I use the IE5 DOM and
with this I retrieve documents from our database using URLs that are a
scaled down version of XQL (I can't say I like XPointer). For example:


would retrieve all 'article' objects with an author attribute of 'Mark',
that are children of a node of type 'documents'. This would then be
returned to the caller as an XML document, but with a stylesheet PI
pointing to 'stylesheets/article.xsl'. (Replacing .xml with .htm would
yield the same results but the XML and XSL would be combined for you on
the server.)

The problem with this is that I have to convert this request to a query
on the objects in the hierarchical database in order to populate my DOM.
Of course, once in the DOM I can export it as XML or transform it if
necessary, so the database does look from the outside like it is one
great big XML document.

But although I am quite happy with this so far, I can see that you would
have to code this up for every type of database, and really it should be
a job for the DOM. It really needs a layer like the layer above the
database-specific layers in ODBC; it would sit just below the DOM. This
layer would obviously need to understand schemas, so it wouldn't be a
trivial task to implement.

Anyway, my original question was 'is anyone doing anything like this?'
and I think the answer is 'nowhere near yet!'

This is an interesting request. Do you want us to explore a bit further your

a) if you got a DOM interface on a RDB, would this be useful?
b) if you would have a ODB with a DOM interface and that the ODB just
maintain some virtual memory pages in memory. (i.e. the whole DOM is not in
memory at once, only some pages are) Would this be useful?

Thanks Mark for your collaboration
Didier PH Martin
mailto:martind at

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